My leadership journey started as a young 23-year- old. I was thrown into a position of leading people who were old enough to be my parents. I remember during my introductory meeting being greeted with the “who do you think you are” eyes.
One of the first questions I was asked was not about vision or strategy; an older gentleman down front spoke up and asked, “What makes you think you can teach better than me?” What in the world!? Are you kidding me?! Who asks a question like that?! He wasn’t kidding either.
I would love to tell you that I had a brilliant retort expressed with such eloquence that it won the whole room over, people immediately respected my leadership, and were willing to follow me as I cast the vision and strategy for the dawning of a new age on how we would impact the lives of students in our community (insert epic super-hero music). But I didn’t. I sat there… eyes big, mouth wide opened, and speechless. In that moment, I began to doubt any ability I thought I had to lead.
Has there ever been a moment in your leadership where you felt helpless as you were being challenged? What did you do to move forward knowing you were called to be their leader?
My mentor who introduced me broke the silence. She spoke up on my behalf. She spoke of my ability to lead, encourage people, and how I bring energy and much-needed excitement to the ministry. As she spoke I found myself getting excited about the things that I brought to the table. Her words inspired me to BELIEVE that I could LEAD!
Who’s speaking into your life? Do you have a mentor? If not, what’s holding you back?
BELIEVE. As a leader, you need people around you to encourage you when you doubt yourself. So often, as leaders, we tend to get stuck in the area of self-doubt. Being stuck in self-doubt can cause you to look at a person, situation, or circumstance as if you have nothing to bring to the table.
My mentor believed in me, and in a time of doubt, (she) encouraged me to believe in myself. – Damean
Three quick thoughts on belief:
- The right voice at the right time can shift your focus from what you lack to how you are gifted to effectively lead.
- A proper belief positions you to overcome and lead when everyone and everything else around says you cannot.
- Leaders lead with the energy of belief!
FAITH INSPIRES FOLLOW SHIP. During my years of Children’s Ministry my faith grew, my belief grew, and my ability to inspire others grew as well. In fact, the very man who asked that audacious question is now one of my biggest supporters. Crazy, right? My faith inspired his follow ship. As a leader, your ability to believe going through tough times will be an encouragement and inspiration to those who follow you.
The energy of belief spreads like wildfire, but it needs to be ignited in you first. People need you as a leader to believe. Believe that you can do it, believe that they can do it and believe that God can do it. But if we are honest there are times when we as leaders find it hard to do so. So here is a D.A.R.E to hold on to when you as the leader find it hard to believe.
D = Determine to pursue God’s vision no matter what!
A = Avoid the, I can’t do it trap!
R = Replace your limiting belief with faith in God’s limitless ability!
E = Endure struggles and never give up!
Whether you are beginning your journey in leadership or you are a seasoned leader navigating through the mountains of criticism that comes your way, it is my desire to be for you what my mentor was for me: a voice to inspire you to believe that you can lead!
I D.A.R.E you to believe!
Written By: Damean Easter